Japan Olympic champ Hanyu wins world title

Last Updated: Friday, March 28, 2014 - 19:59

Saitama: Japan`s Olympic champion Yuzuru Hanyu added his first world gold medal to his trophy board Friday by edging compatriot Tatsuki Machida by a less than a point in the free skate.

The 19-year-old scored 191.35 points in the final segment to finish on 282.59 points overall, with short-programme leader Machida second with 282.26 at the world championships in Saitama near Tokyo.

Spain`s Javier Fernandez ended third overall on 275.93 points, slipping from second spot in Wednesday`s short programme.

Trailing in third spot 6.97 points behind Machida, Hanyu nailed a difficult quadruple salchow in his opening element, followed by a clean quadruple toeloop and six triple jumps, three of them in combinations.

Hanyu, who beat Canada`s three-time world champion Patrick Chan at last month`s Sochi Olympics and at the Grand Prix Final in December, also hit a maximum level-four in a step sequence and two spins, skating to the music of "Romeo and Juliet" by Nino Rota.

Machida, 25, who won the US and Russian Grand Prix titles but finished fifth in Sochi, skated earlier to score a personal best of 184.05 points in the free skate but his overall score fell short of giving him a first global title on his world championship debut.

Double European champion Fernandez, 22, who trains with Hanyu in Toronto under Canadian coach Brian Orser, marked the third best free skate score of 179.51 for his second straight world championship bronze medal.

Hanyu, the 2012 world bronze medallist, became the second man to pull off a hat-trick of global honours.

He was the first man since Russian Alexei Yagudin in 2002 to compete for a world title after winning the Olympic gold in the same season. Yagudin won both Olympic and world titles as well as the Grand Prix Final gold in the 2001-2002 season.


First Published: Friday, March 28, 2014 - 19:59

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